Taking action through accountability

Transparency in funding, clear reporting, and responsible execution of operations are critical to the success of our organisation.

Clear rules for accountability

We are a network of passionate individuals, stakeholders, and communities, who are collective custodians of Africa’s coastal resources. Accountability is a critical aspect of SST’s operations to ensure we maintain the trust of our network and execute in a responsible and ethical manner whilst providing full transparency to funders.

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Responsibility and guidance

The responsible custodian or authority of a project is identified, and we work with them to achieve the desired project result. To do this, we provide clear guidance and support in the form of regular and timely management information, training and development and advice from financial and human resource management experts.

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Governance and compliance

We assess progress by doing an objective comparison of results against targets and standards, covering such issues as delivery of programmes, cost and quality; management of human and financial resources; decision-making - authority fully exercised but not exceeded; and compliance with policies, values, rules and regulations, and behavioural standards.

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Ethical standards and transparency

Our work connects with and enables communities. We have a responsibility to these communities and believe in integrity and excellence in everything we do. It’s important that in conducting work, all policies, rules and regulations are followed. Some of our tools of accountability include The SST constitution and trust deed, trustee minutes and documents, financial policy and procedures, project documents, meeting minutes and reports.

The facts, plain and simple

SST is a registered international charitable trust (IT 2203/2006), Public Benefit Organisation (PBO No: 930022444), and Not-for-Profit Organisation (NPO No: 078-120-NPO). We are registered and administered by CA Trust Company and operate exclusively for charitable, scientific, educational, socio-economic and philanthropic purposes.

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Staff management

Employees are required to read and adhere to a detailed SST HR handbook manual upon accepting employment with the organisation. This manual reflects our rigorous hiring process and code of conduct practices, to ensure transparency.

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Monitoring & evaluation

A detailed Theory of Change outlines the overall impact the organisation is working towards, as well as long-term, medium-term, and short-term outcomes. These short-term outcomes are further broken down into specific outputs with indicators to define clear work plans for each impact portfolio of work, as well as each employee. We conduct qualitative and quantitative monitoring and evaluation on all programmes.

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Financial management

An external accounting firm assists with managing finances as an additional external governance check. We also have robust internal financial management policies and procedures, as well as a budget tracking tool that aligns with the external accountant firm’s reports and processes.

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A detailed procurement policy is outlined in our Financial Management Policy. The relevant authorities for signing off on payments are specified and defined at each level.

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Data security

A regular back-up programme is in place, administered and supported through a reputable external service provider. Our accounting systems are included within this regular back-up schedule. All staff members have undergone accredited Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) training.

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Fair compensation

SST has a detailed travel policy and salary scales have been professionally graded and benchmarked by an external service provider against the South African NGO/NPO sector to ensure that they are accurate and market related.

Protecting our ethical principles

Our purpose is to facilitate and support a growing network of Africa’s people working together to ensure flourishing coastal communities and sustainable seas. We believe this is of paramount importance and thus drives the integrity of our research and maintains the dignity of all individuals. Our research is conducted on sound scientific and ethical principles. The SST Research Ethics Committee was established in June 2021 to ensure all research is conducted responsibly and ethically. This includes preserving the dignity and rights of members of the public who participate in our social research projects, by adhering to the principles of voluntary and informed consent.

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A sea of knowledge

SST Review: 2019-2023

A clear and resource-driven review.

Research & publications

Credible, factual, and informative.

News & blog

Informed updates on the ground.


All the latest developments.

Press releases

Notable mentions and editorials.

Stories of impact

Successful outcomes on projects and within communities.

We’re all in safe hands

A multi-tiered, multi-disciplinary leadership structure advises the CEO and senior management team, guiding the strategic direction of the organisation. Our Board of Trustees provides non-executive leadership in the management of the fiduciary, legal, and ethical aspects of the trust, as well as strategic guidance.

SST has a wide range of members on our Advisory Panel, drawn from both sides of Africa (Abidjan and Nairobi Conventions, UNEP, WIOMSA). In South Africa, expertise is drawn from government, academia, business, and NGOs. Credibility and support come through our Patrons who often help raise awareness for the work the organisation undertakes, locally and internationally.

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